A new survey of adult parents finds that 44% of them have yet to prepare a will or living trust document. They should, since it’s one of the aspects of parenthood that will live on after they are gone.
Senior care resource Caring.com said it had a nationally representative sample of adult parents polled recently, to find out how well they had prepared for, and discussed, the transfer of their estates should they pass away unexpectedly.
Death is almost a taboo subject in this culture. Many people won’t the subject, much less put plans in place, and hold family meetings to clue everyone in about what needs to be done if the worst happens. Yet, it’s necessary to do just that.
Caring.com found that nearly one-third of parents (27%) do not have estate documents in place and 16% of adult children are unsure if their parents do. Of those that do have a will, just 40% have updated it in the last 1-5 years.
Women tend to be more informed about the contents of the documents than men (49% vs. 34%). However, men are more likely than women to know where the documents are stored (52% vs. 44%).
In a statement Caring.com CEO Andy Cohen said, “Too often the surviving family members are left not knowing where to find the documents, or worse, have to go through a lengthy and expensive legal process because no documents were ever created.”
Nobody wants to leave a legal and financial mess behind after they pass away. And yet, far too many Americans are creating a strong possibility of doing so out of a reluctance to talk about these difficult subjects.